Toyota’s entry-level sports car never looked so good

The Toyota 86 will remain in our lives for the foreseeable future now that Toyota has confirmed plans to develop a next-generation model. But that isn’t coming until 2021. For now, Toyota is keeping the current-generation 86 fresh in our minds with the new British Green Limited Edition that’s available exclusively in Japan. The newest special edition 86 follows a similar blueprint as all the other special edition 86 models in the past. Most of the upgrades are aesthetic by nature, though there are a few performance bits added to compensate for the lack of an engine upgrade. Unfortunately, for us, at least, the 86 British Green Limited Edition is available only in Japan at a starting price of 3.318 million yen. Not that it matters to us, but that converts to around $30,000 based on current exchange rates.

What Makes the Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition Special?

2019 Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition
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It is a bit ironic that the Toyota 86 British Green Limited is only available in Japan and not in any other part of the world like, say, the U.K., right? You would think that a car that has the word “British” in it would be sold in the country whose people are called the same thing. But what do I know? All I can say is that the Toyota 86 British Green Limited looks especially fancy, almost to the point that you might mistake it for an…Aston Martin? James Bond would certainly do a double-take, that much I’m sure of.

The Toyota 86 British Green Limited’s calling card is its paint finish. It takes its name from the British Racing Green paint finish that originated all the way back in 1903.

Yes, this particular shade — the British also call it “Shamrock Green” — has been around that long. It’s not at all surprising that automakers like Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, and Mini are the ones that use the color the most, be it for commercial or motor racing purposes. All four automakers — and Lotus, for that matter — trace their roots in the U.K. Turns out, the tie that binds all of them together is British Racing Green.

2019 Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition
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Apparently, we can now add Toyota to that list. The Japanese automaker has no British roots, but it does own a production facility in Derbyshire, England. I suppose that’s a “connection.” All jokes aside, Toyota distinguishes the 86 British Green Limited rather stylishly with the body color the coupé is wearing. But it’s also far from the only notable feature of the limited edition coupé. The 86 British Green Limited Edition sits on a fancy set of 17-inch, bronze-finished cast aluminum wheels that further slams home the point of where it was inspired from. The red Brembo brake calipers — four-piston units in the front and two-piston units in the back — breaks away from the green-and-bronze treatment but remains pleasant to the eyes. A rear spoiler sits at the back of the coupé to enhance the aerodynamic qualities of the coupé.

Step inside the car, and you’ll be greeted by a pair of sports seats wrapped in fancy tan Alcantara leather and orange contrast stitching on the black steering wheel, the gear shifter, and the hand brake.

The usual plastic bits remain, and that probably cheapens the ambiance a bit, but you need to temper your expectations, too, if you end up buying it. Fancy green body color and Alcantara-covered seats notwithstanding, this is still a Toyota 86. ‘Opulence’ and ‘luxury’ are two words you never use to describe it. This model doesn’t even have an infotainment system, though I suspect that some customers who’d want one can pay the extra for Toyota to install it. Fortunately, Toyota remains proud of the limited edition’s status since there’s a badge on the passenger-side compartment denoting its exclusivity.

2019 Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition
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Power upgrades are absent, though that’s to be expected. As it is, the GT 86 British Green Limited Edition still features the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as all other 86 models. The four-pot produces 206 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in a tick over six seconds before hitting a top speed that can approach 145 mph under the right conditions. That should be a tad easier with the aero upgrades and the standard Sach dampers — optional on standard 86s — in tow.

Toyota isn’t shy about addressing the inspiration behind this two-door beauty.

The automaker said as much when it described its use of the British Green color as a nod to all the British cars that won race victories all over the world sporting the unique shade. It’s just too bad that as famous as the color is on a global landscape, the limited edition 86 is only available in Japan. It seems like it’s unfair that our Japanese friends can get their hands on this special edition 86 while the rest of us can only stare at it from the confines of our own desks and couches.

2019 Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition
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Pricing for the Toyota 86 British Green Limited Edition starts at 3.318 million yen in Japan.

That converts to around $30,000 based on current exchange rates. It’s a bittersweet feeling, folks. On the one hand, you can’t help but admire Toyota for creating this special edition 86. It evokes motor racing tradition in ways that no other 86 special edition has ever done. There doesn’t even seem to be a cap on how many models Toyota’s planning on building. All it said was that the model will be on sale until May 31 this year.

I don’t suppose Toyota expands the car’s availability once the second half of the year starts? I’m not expecting it to happen, but you have no idea what kind of power hope and positivity can bring to the table. That, and begging. Begging works, too.

Please, Toyota? Pretty please?

Further reading

2017 Toyota 86
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Toyota 86 - $26,255

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota 86.

Source: Toyota Japan

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